Although coastal New England was treated to a heavy snowfall this weekend, here in Lyme we barely received a dusting. From my perspective, this is a disappointment, as I was hoping to build on the current base and to enjoy some local powder this weekend. I hear there may be more in the hills to the south and east, and hope to get out soon to explore them… but today was very cold (temps in the single digits) and windy (gusting above 50mph) on the higher summits. So I stayed close to home and took a stroll up Lyme Hill, a public trail not far from home. I enjoyed listening to the creak of the cold trees as they bent with the wind, and pondering the patterns of animal tracks that criss-cross this popular trail. The sky was deep blue, the sun was low and cool, and the snow windblown. A fine day to be out!
Last weekend was very cold, well below zero, and the river’s surface became even more solid. The cracks and fissures of a week earlier healed into sinuous patterns, which I found to be an interesting photographic subject – especially at the shoulders of daylight.
Twice on Sunday I saw skaters – traveling in pairs, some wearing nordic skates and carrying safety poles, and some (like the teen below) wearing hockey skates and using ski poles for support – enjoying the opportunity to skate for kilometers upon kilometers.
Today woke with frigid temperatures: -10ºF (-23ºC), which was certainly not inspiring me to get outdoors. But it was a beautifully clear and sunny day, and by mid-afternoon the temperature had risen twenty degrees. So a friend and I climbed nearby Holts Ledge – a hill in Lyme on which the Dartmouth Skiway is located. The snow squeaked under our feet and the stream crossings were smooth and icy. We had a fine view from the top, yes, but my favorite view was a close-up look at the frost feathers atop a puddle of ice.
Last winter I posted a couple of times about a cool phenomenon, when snow settles onto our metal roof and slides, very slow, over days, toward the edge. In the right conditions, the snow bonds together into a sheet and, despite sliding over the edge of the roof, stays connected as a sheet. Yesterday I awoke to see these impressive sheets hanging outside my bedroom window, each at least two feet long.
I opened a window, and reached out to touch them. They were soft, fragile, and slightly wet, despite the 20ºF morning temperature. It had been warm (above freezing) the afternoon before, allowing them to slide slowly off the roof, but the falling evening temperatures trapped them in this frozen form.
Some time later that morning they fell off, as the temperatures warmed and a windy cold front arrived. This morning I see their impressions in the snow where it thinly covers the deck below.
It snowed yesterday – just a couple of inches – and today broke sunny and clear. So I met a few friends for a climb of Blueberry Mountain, a small peak just to the west of Mount Moosilauke. It’s not tall, or with a grand summit, nor does it have expansive views, but it’s a fine place to be on a sunny winter’s day.
After two weeks with family here in Kiawah Island in South Carolina, it’s time to head home. We’ve had beautiful weather, allowing time to explore the sands and lagoons of this beautiful island. I’ve added to the gallery more photos of birds and scenery. It was foggy on the beach at sunrise this morning, so I’ll share this photo from Christmas morning.